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Search tags: hb-noir
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review 2018-10-22 18:41
Made to Kill / Adam Christopher
Made to Kill: A Novel (L.A. Trilogy) - Adam Christopher

Raymond Electromatic is good at his job, as good as he ever was at being a true Private Investigator, the lone employee of the Electromatic Detective Agency--except for Ada, office gal and super-computer, the constant voice in Ray's inner ear. Ray might have taken up a new line of work, but money is money, after all, and he was programmed to make a profit. Besides, with his twenty-four-hour memory-tape limits, he sure can keep a secret.

When a familiar-looking woman arrives at the agency wanting to hire Ray to find a missing movie star, he's inclined to tell her to take a hike. But she had the cold hard cash, a demand for total anonymity, and tendency to vanish on her own.

Plunged into a glittering world of fame, fortune, and secrecy, Ray uncovers a sinister plot that goes much deeper than the silver screen--and this robot is at the wrong place, at the wrong time.

 

I read this to fill the Modern Noir square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I became kinda fond of Raymond Electromatic by the end of this novel. He’s a robot with a heart for gold and limited short term memory. The author made it clear that he was a great admirer of Raymond Chandler and the noir detective genre, but that he was trying to write “Raymond Chandler’s lost science fiction novel.” Unfortunately for Mr. Christopher, it is extremely difficult to write as beautifully as Raymond Chandler. However, I can tell that he had a good time trying.

Things get a bit complex and confusing about 2/3 of the way through, but everything sorts itself out in the end. There are more books in the series if you’re a fan, but I think I know Mr. Electromatic well enough at this juncture. A fun Halloween read.

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review 2018-10-22 00:10
I honestly tried
The Castle of Otranto - Horace Walpole

I don't know whether I read a satire written as a self-challenge to pack as much over-the-top drama in as few pages as possible, or an over-the-top dramatic tragedy on rocket fuel.

 

I feel a bit like when I watched Venezuelan TV novelas, only those tend to stretch, and barely come to the ankles of this... unholy (heheh) mess. So, pretty much the same reaction: either you unapologetically immerse in the guilty pleasure, or you laugh and mock with abandon. I might have canted for the first as a kid (hell, I was tempted for the beginning pages), but I confess that by Frederik's reveal and Theodore's story I just straight started giggling and could not take anything seriously any more.

 

And if it resembles history a bit too much at points, well, it comes to show that reality will always prove to be more ridiculous than any fiction, even this.

 

 

And double bingo for me! (not like I can really keep avoiding them at this point, lol)

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text 2018-09-18 14:51
Reading progress update: I've read 47%. - I can't continue with this at the moment
The Ice Beneath Her: A Novel - Elizabeth Clark Wessel,Camilla Grebe

I'm reading this for the Modern Noir square but even though I'm almost halfway through, I'm calling a halt and finding a substitute book.

 

There's nothing wrong with "The Ice Beneath Her". It's well written, has strong characters and a plot that is in no hurry to give up its secrets but it's BLEAK.

 

Unlike normal whodunnits, this one isn't really focusing much on solving a murder. Instead, it's using the discovery of a decapitated woman to take me on a journey about betrayal and abuse. The three characters from whose point of view the story is told are all broken. The men are almost all bullying predatory narcissists - including the good guys. And they all have either been betrayed or have betrayed others in unforgivable ways.

 

I will finish this book - but not now.

 

I've reached the point where I hesitate to listen to the audiobook as I make my way through my day because I know it will bring me down.

 

So I'm setting it aside.

 

Fortunately, the world is full of books I haven't read yet. I searched my TBR pile and came up with something hardboiled and American. It will still be noir, I'm sure, but the kind that entertains partly because it doesn't feel real. I want noir that I know will never happen to me. 

 

"The Ice Beneath Her" is like a hook in my flesh.

 

I'm hoping that "Huntress Moon", its replacement for the Modern Noir square, will be more like a double shot expresso on a sleepy morning.

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review 2018-09-09 14:53
Better with age
The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle

I find that while still not my favourite Holmes, I liked it better this time around. I think I might have been too young, and found it too dreary and long for my age. Gothic is also an acquired taste that came with age for me, so that might have played a part.

 

The other thing that turned interesting, beyond finding the pace a lot more palatable, was that Holmes is a lot more present than I remembered. Part of it is knowing, and so catching, the hints of him all around of course, but I think the pages without his obvious person were too long for my kid self's perception.

 

And, well, the fabulous Stephen Fry's narration is a definitive plus.

 

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review 2018-09-01 13:27
Nightmare and Paranoia Fuel
The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman,Elaine Hedges

*whines* It's still miserable, windy winter here!! How do I combat the chills this induced? *shudder*

 

Whenever I read stories like this, I remember that quote "novels win by points, short stories by knock outs". I know I was already whimpering one page in. I finished with a wiki-walk and... How come every interpretation is so... mild? compassionate? forgiving?... of the husband?

 

I get time and society marching on, and symbolism, but how come picking the barred, dreary, ex-nursery with mismatched furniture and a purposely for that visit nailed down bed makes any but malicious sense?

 

No monster, no gore, but hell, psychological mind-fucks will forever get me shivering

 

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